Superficial Peace

“It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that he didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace.” – Francis Chan

You know how the song goes, “Take me deeper” or “You have called me higher, you have called me deeper, I’ll go where you will take me” or maybe “I’ll go to the ends of the earth for You”…

They’re great songs to sing. But are you actually paying attention to the words you’re singing? Word of advice: only sing these songs and pray bold prayers if you’re ready to dive deeper with Jesus. Because he will take you. And when he takes you, there’s no time to back down.

Going deeper means you will more than likely be separated from something that is nice, comfortable, gives you peace. Superficial peace, that is. Maybe he’ll ask you to give up social media, stop hanging out with certain people, or hey – maybe he’ll ask you to move to a foreign country.

Jesus doesn’t call us out of our comfort zone so we can indulge in our safety nets and still feel somewhat cozy.

He calls us out of what we know so we can learn to dive into him.

So often we pray to know Jesus more. But when the opportunity comes, we seek superficial peace instead.

Current situation: thinking peace is found at home.

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The other night I laid down in my bed and started to think about all the places I’ve called “my bed.” I did the math, I’ve had 12 different addresses since I was born. and over the past 5 years I’ve had “my bed” (any location longer than 3 months) in 10 different locations, all ranging from blankets on a friend’s bedroom floor to air mattresses to queen size beds. From Fenton, to Colorado. Flint, to Costa Rica.

Then this question came to mind: where is home? Better yet, what is home?

John 14:1-3 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in god; believe also in me. My father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would i have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Is it the town you grew up in? You know the streets like the back of your hand. You have your favorite restaurants and ice cream shops. You have routines of Friday night football games and church on Sunday mornings. You run into familiar faces at the grocery story. Home is familiar. Home is community.

Is it the house you’ve always lived in? Or in my case, houses. A house doesn’t always feel like home. But we have that place we can kick off our shoes, put our stinky feet on the coffee table, maybe even pee with the door open. Home is the place we have the comfort of going into our bedroom, seeing our bed, and resting our head on our own pillow. Am I right? Home is comfortable.

Maybe home is where you have all of your belongings unpacked. Everything has a place. You know exactly where your underwear drawer is, where to find extra toilet paper, what cupboard the pots and pans are in. You know that in the morning the water and power will be on. Home is peaceful.

Or is home the place where you have your people? You know your neighbors. You can ask them for an egg or a cup of sugar. Home is the place where the people who know you and love you dwell. The kind of people who you can just show up at their front door just because. The people you can call to pick your kids up from school because you’re running late. The people who go out of their way to love you and serve you and pray with you. You celebrate memorial day at that beach, and you have thanksgiving with those people. Home is family.

Home could be the place you experience life to the full together. The place you serve together. The place we go on epic adventures and grow in our faith together. Church camp, Young Life camp. Or maybe you feel most at home with your church or small group a few nights a week. Home is fellowship.

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If home was considered a place where I have all my belongings unpacked, home doesn’t exist. If it’s the town I grew up in or the house I live in, it’s just some coordinates on a map.

I don’t think we miss home in a sense of a location on a map. We miss familiarity, comfort, peace, love, fellowship, community. We identify home as a location on a map, but it goes so much more beyond that.

The things we miss are found in Christ. These things are found in his Kingdom.

We LONG for home so much because through it we’ve had a glimpse of the kingdom. We’ve experienced God’s kingdom here on earth. We want more of that, we crave that, because thats the kind of life we were made to live.  Experiencing these things, we’ve had a glimpse of the kingdom, a glimpse of home. and We LONG for more and more of that place we were made to dwell for eternity.

No location on earth is our home. This is not where we belong. Home is the kingdom of God. We’ve mistaken home for a location because it offers us all these things…it offers us superficial peace We continually long for more because we were made to dwell in the kingdom for eternity.

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Don’t search for these things in the world. they’re temporary. They won’t last. Lean into Jesus and he will give you these.

We long for the kingdom of God.

But here’s good news: Jesus said this

John 14:15-18 “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that he may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

We have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. The same power that raised Christ from the dead, that healed this sick and made the paralyzed walk..lives within us.

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Luke 17:20-21 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

Let’s own that. Let’s bring the kingdom to where we are. Right now.

Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

Mark 4:30-32 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”

If there’s anything I’ve learned about living in Costa Rica, or following Jesus is this: Don’t ask Jesus to take you deeper if you’re going to continue seeking superficial peace in the comfort of your choice (mine was Netflix and ham & cheese sandwiches…among many other things :)).

True peace can only come from God. It’s easy to cover it up with so many other things. Jesus has called you into this time of your life so you can lean into him, grow in your faith, and really truly trust him more. Find out what He actually means when he calls himself the comforter, the prince of peace, I AM.

“Hard things just keep calling you because you’re meant to answer to higher and better things.”

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